John F. Landgraf
John Frederick Landgraf was born September 20, 1950, in Silsbee, Texas, to Jean and Lester Landgraf. He is the eldest of seven children. After having graduated from Silsbee High School in 1969, he attended Texas A&M University and obtained a degree in Civil Engineering and a commission in the United States Army in 1973. Mr. Landgraf received many awards and recognitions while in the Corps of Cadets and a student at Texas A&M University.
John went to work for the consulting engineering firm of Schrickel, Rollins and Associates, Inc. in Arlington after completing Army commitments in the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. While at SRA, John gained valuable work experience in the design of residential and commercial development projects as well as municipal projects. In 1978 he moved to Odessa to take a position with the Public Works Department with the City of Odessa. In 1979 John and Murray A. Crutcher, Jr. formed the consulting engineering firm of Landgraf, Crutcher & Associates, Inc. to serve the West Texas region, and from 1982 to 1989, the metroplex area with an office in Dallas.
As President and Vice-President of LCA, John has been the principal in charge of residential community projects spanning thousands of acres, as well as commercial land developments, water and wastewater treatment plants, large paving and drainage projects, landfills and large ranch surveys. John has served as a member and officer of many technical organizations. He was a past Branch President of the West Texas Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Chapter Director of Permian Basin Chapter of TSPE and a member of NSPE, Professional Engineers in Private Practice and the Texas Society of Professional Surveyors. John maintains current registration as a Professional Engineer as well as a Professional Land Surveyor.
During his professional career, John has received several honors, including Young Engineer of the Year 1982 and Outstanding Engineer of the Year 1992 for the Texas Society of Professional Engineers, Permian Basin Chapter; Outstanding Young Men of America 1978 and 1986; Rising Star of Texas by Texas Business Magazine, 1987; Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, 1988; Boss of the Year – American Business Women’s Association Black and Gold Chapter, 1988; Odessa Chamber of Commerce Business Hall of Fame, 1999; Heritage of Odessa Foundation Community Service, 1995; and Outstanding Citizen of the Year, 2004.
John spends much of his time in service to his community, his church and higher education. He has served as President and Board Member of Odessa Cultural Council, Odessa Optimist Club, Odessa Chamber of Commerce, Ector County Emergency Committee District and Main Street Odessa. He has served as campaign chairman of the local March of Dimes, the Oil Barons’, Odessa United Way, Texas Commerce Bank of Odessa Board of Directors and the Texas Assembly of Art Councils Board of Directors.
Not only has he continued to serve his alma mater, Texas A&M University, he has contributed many hours of time to other educational endeavors. John serves or has served on the Texas A&M System Chancellor’s Century Council Advisory Committee, the George Bush Presidential Library Committee at TAMU, the 12th Man Foundation Board of Directors, and the Associates of Former Students of Texas A&M University. He has also served on the Corps of Cadets Development Council at TAMU, president of the local A&M Club serving as the West Texas Area Representative of the Association of Former Students. His other educational interest include serving on the President’s Advisory Council for the University of Texas Permian Basin, the Board of Visitors at the McDonald Observatory, and the Adult Literacy Council Board of Directors. He chaired a division of the Superintendent’s Strategic Planning Committee for Ector County Independent School District and has served as Vice-President of the Education Foundation.
John also served on the Board of Directors of the Permian Basin Area Foundation and was past President of the Board of Trustees of Permia Care. He also served as President of St. Mary’s Parish Council and has served on various committees, including the Parish Council at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church. He also served as Assistant Scoutmaster for St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s Troop 77.
John is married to Beverly and they have three children, Mary Louise, Brooks, and Elizabeth, and six beautiful grandchildren.
Billy Bassett was born in Odessa, Texas to parents A.C. “Johnny” Bassett and Melba Bassett. Bassett graduated from Permian High School in 1965 and attended Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. He graduated from Southern Methodist University (SMU) where he received a Bachelor of Administration in Marketing.
After graduating from SMU, Billy joined his father, and his brother, Don Bassett, to build and operate four Best Western Motels, with the Colonial Inn in Austin, Texas being their lead property.
After selling motel properties in the mid 1980’s, Billy participated in several business interests before establishing his present company, Bassett Construction, Inc. With the help of his team consisting of brother Don Bassett and quality subcontractors, the company has flourished in West Texas.
Today, Bassett Construction has built well over 1,000 homes over 50 years. During those years, his company has built homes, motels, offices and the first student housing apartments for the University of Texas of the Permian Basin and West Texas Gift of Hope “Hope House.” Bassett Construction has built homes ranging from 1,000 Sq. Ft to 12,500 Sq. Ft. The company offers services such as general contracting, residential and commercial and land development. Bassett’s company philosophy is to provide quality construction regardless of the size.
Bassett is an active community member who has served on many boards including the Texas Hotel & Motel Association, Texas Lyceum, Permian Basin MHMR, Odessa Habitat for Humanity, and the Midland-Odessa Symphony & Chorale. He has served as the past chair for the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, Odessa Country Club, and the Permian Basin Home Builders Association. Bassett also served the city of Odessa as the district 2 councilman in 1988-1990.
Bassett is a volunteer for the West Texas Jazz Society, the Permian Basin Home Builders and West Texas Gifts of Hope. Bassett was also part of the committed group of citizens that traveled to campaign and advocate to make UTPB a four-year university.
Prior to being named the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year, Bassett was also inducted into the Chamber Business Hall of Fame in 2007. His company was also recognized by the Permian Basin Builders Association as Builder of the Year in 2008.
Bassett has been married to his wife Sheilagh for 44 years. They are the proud parents of two talented daughters, Erin, and Paige, and two grandchildren. In his free time, Bassett enjoys golf, sailing, and skiing. Bassett will be honored with a luncheon on Thursday, April 5 at 11:30 a.m. at the Odessa Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Jayaram B. Naidu
Dr. Jayaram Naidu has earned quite the name during his years of practice, especially within our community. Dr. Naidu obtained his medical degree from Guntur Medical College in Andhra, India and completed his residency in internal medicine at A.C. Logan Memorial Hospital in New York. Dr. Naidu is president of Naidu Clinic, and has been in private practice as an internist for more than 40 years with a special interest in Cardiology.
Naidu is an assistant clinical professor for Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and was recently appointed to the Texas Medical Board for the second time. He is a member of the Texas Medical Association, Ector County Medical Society, the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center Advisory Board, and is a past board member of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, he is a former gubernatorial appointee of the Chronic Kidney Disease Task force and was on the UTPB Development board.
After finishing his residency in New York, Naidu landed in Texas when he went to visit his Brother, who was currently living in Lubbock, Texas. At the time, Odessa was a boomtown in much need of internists. Naidu left his job at Texas Tech, borrowed money from a bank, and moved to Odessa where he would plant his roots for many years to come.
Although Naidu has been hard at work in medicine for the past four decades, he has yet to lose his spark of passion for practicing. During his time in Odessa, Dr. Naidu has recruited 20 to 25 physicians to the area.
“He has constantly worked for the betterment of Odessa’s medical needs over the years and continues to this day,” said Austin Keith in a nomination letter about Naidu. “He has been able to attract many physicians to Odessa when times were tough here in the Permian Basin.
Dr. Naidu has received many honors and awards. He received the Best Community Physician Educator, Family Practice, from Texas Tech Health Science Center as well as “Best Physician” by the Odessa American Readers Choice Awards in 2001. In 2002, he received the Heritage Foundation Award for Outstanding Odessan in Philanthropy and “Service Above Self” by the Rotary Club of Odessa. In 2005, Dr. Naidu was inducted into the Odessa Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame and “Bharat Gavraw” by the Friends of India. He is also a “Distinguished Fellow” from TTHSC.
Naidu’s wife, Sujani, managed the clinic for many years before her retirement. Together, they have two children. His son, Raja Naidu, is a cardiologist who offices on the second floor of the Naidu Clinic, and his daughter, Sulekha, who lives in New York. Naidu also has two granddaughters.
Austin R. Keith began his career in 1977 after graduating from the University of Texas at El Paso. Upon graduation, Keith ventured into the distribution business. Austin would continue work for in that business for the next 20 years before purchasing Pinkies, Inc., a fifteen store beverage alcohol chain in West Texas. Pinkies, Inc. was founded in 1934 by Tom “Pinkie” Roden, a man who has strongly impacted many individuals and businesses, especially within Odessa. Austin Keith has continued to amplify that impact, serving many organizations and inspiring philanthropy in communities all over.
Keith is the current chairman of Grow Odessa, an industrial development corporation that seeks to grow and improve the city of Odessa. Austin is also the Treasurer and Chairman Elect for the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, as well as the newly appointed business advisory member of Area Marketing and Supply Chain Management for the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech. Keith’s efforts have been widely recognized by many entities. In 2002, Keith received the Bert Ford Commendation Award from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. The agency stated that: “Austin embodies the very core values which this recognition represents. With a distinguished career in the alcoholic beverage industry, he is highly respected as a man of honesty, integrity and character. An integral part of the West Texas community, Austin is a proven civic leader and exemplary businessman.”
Two years later, Keith was honored as the Market Watch Industry Leader by the Market Watch Magazine. In the magazine, it goes as far to say “As the public record shows, he’s dedicated to serving the needs of others and improving communities where he does business. “ Keith is also the owner of a barbecue business also named Pinkies, which has three locations in Lubbock, Texas.
Austin and Wife Michelle have been married for 38 years. Together, they have two children, Jeffrey and Katy. Jeffrey graduated from TCU and went on to the American Film Institute in Directing. He and wife Shelbi reside in Pasadena, California. Katy Howell is a speech pathologist and resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with her husband James.
D. Kirk Edwards
D. Kirk Edwards is President and CEO of Latigo Petroleum, LLC. The company manages, operates and exploits diverse oil and gas assets and surface lands with properties located throughout the United States and the Gulf Coast of Mexico. Kirk is also lead manager for Las Colinas Energy Partners; Las Colinas Minerals, LP; MacLondon Energy, LP; Alexis Energy, LP; Noelle Land & Minerals LLC and the various mineral estates of the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research in Rochester, Minnesota.
Kirk received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin in 1981. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas and worked tirelessly on a volunteer basis as a member of the UTPB Development Board to help bring Division II Football to the Permian Basin.
This past February, Kirk was awarded The John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute’s Texas Leadership Award for 2015 as Outstanding Local Texas Leader. He was also awarded The Excellence in Community Service Award in Business for 2008 by the Heritage of Odessa Foundation, was inducted into the Odessa Business Hall of Fame by the Odessa Chamber of Commerce in April 2011 and sits on various boards at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.
Kirk has also been involved in a number of professional membership organizations. He was appointed by Speaker of the Texas House Joe Straus to the Oilfield Cleanup Fund Advisory Committee from 2008-present. He has also served as the Past Chairman of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, Past Chairman of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce and Past Director of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. In January 2015 he was appointed by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick to his energy advisory committee.
Les Littlejohn has had an interesting path leading him to H & S Valve, Inc. He attended high school in Rochester, Michigan and graduated from Michigan State University in 1974 after playing for the Detroit Tigers AA farm team. He worked for LTV Aerospace Corporation in Dallas, TX until 1977, then came to Odessa and began work for H & S Valve Inc. in 1978.
H & S Valve Inc. repairs and manufactures parts for natural gas compressors and engines. They have grown from 1 shop in 1978 to 8 facilities in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico; 2 of them in Odessa. They are negotiating for a 9th facility currently.
Les currently serves on the boards of the Ector County Education Foundation, Permian Basin Rehabilitation Center, Odessa College Scholarship Foundation, O.C.C. finance committee, Quarter Century committee, PBS and the Odessa College Wrangler Club. He has also served on the YMCA board.
Les has been married to his wife Elizabeth for 35 years.
R. Scott Sibert grew up in Beaumont, Texas. He graduated from Texas A&M in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanized Agriculture. He then went to work for Ford Tractor Division. Scott opened Cisco Equipment in 1978 in Odessa.
Domestically, Cisco currently has over 100 employees in the Odessa, San Angelo, Lubbock and Artesia offices. It is currently one of the largest full service equipment dealerships in the Permian Basin.
Internationally, Cisco has an office in Yuzhno, Sakhalin Island, Russia with 200 employees and a corporate office in Brisbane, Australia with 800 employees working in Papua New Guinea. The Port Moresby office in Papua New Guinea handles operations. The office in Singapore is headquarters for the international division of Cisco.
Scott has been married to Minka for almost 21 years and together they have three sons and six grandchildren. They are members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church.
Scott sets the example for volunteering by being active in a variety of organizations, including the Education Foundation, Permian Basin Rehabilitation Center, Food2Kids, The Boys and Girls Clubs, The United Way, and Habitat for Humanity.